Athangudi Mansion, Chettinad

Athangudi Mansion stands out prominently due to its sheer size and grandeur. It is still being maintained well by its present owner. For a small amount he allowed photography inside the mansion. Though he sounded proud of the heritage he has inherited he sounded quite worried too. Government has banned demolish of such mansions, but the maintenance charges that is being provided is too less he complained. He said the property was worth crores of rupees and there are more than 200 inheritors to this mansion.

This is the picture of the owner who built this mansion more than a century back. His descendants and their extended families all throng during ceremonies and festivals. There are more than 100 rooms in the mansion I was told. During family gathering enormous amount of food is cooked and the dining room is more than 50 ft. in length. As it is used extensively, the mansion requires frequent repairs and it is equivalent to keeping an elephant as pet, as they say colloquially.

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The Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu has several such mansions. Most of them are in ruins, some have totally worn out facades but the interiors are grand and very few like this Athangudi Mansion is in good condition, inhabited and in use. Years back families here prospered well. They were into banking and had good business relations with South and South East Asian countries. But later fortunes dwindled and many abandoned their home state for better fortunes.

The ceiling is fantabulous! I kept gaping at it till my neck hurt.

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I intended to do just a photo essay but then ended up being wordy. I have tried to show detailed work in mansion to give you a fair idea of the grandness. These mansions recquire serious attention from Government. They have to be repaired and restored; else time will leave its permanent irreparable mark on these!

Details of pillar, sculpted and designed in teak wood.

The view from interiors.

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